Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

January 2, 2005


Be resolute even if you choose not

to make resolutions for New Year


          resolute – characterized by firmness or determination; unwavering (from the Latin resolutus).

          resolve – to make a firm decision about.

          resolution – the state or quality of being resolute; firm determination; the act of resolving to do something. A course of action determined or decided upon.

          The beginning of a New Year brings to mind the custom of making new resolutions. Two opinions always emerge. One, creating New Year resolutions is helpful. Two, New Year resolutions are silly and a waste of time.

          The latter opinion is understandable. All of us know the feeling that comes from making, and soon breaking, our resolutions.

          Nevertheless, I believe constructing new resolutions is beneficial. The process helps us rethink our values and refocus our energy in doing things that help us grow and improve the quality of our life.  

          The alternative is to give up, surrendering to that dread enemy, lethargy, the unrelenting demon that dogs our tracks from the cradle to the grave. To ignore the opportunity to make a few new resolutions is to admit that we no longer have the will power to take charge of our own lives. It is to refuse to take ourselves by the nap of the neck and insist that bad habits give way to good ones.

          How long we may be faithful to our resolutions is not as important as making them. If we cannot keep them for more than three weeks, at least we tried for three weeks to improve our own lives. We cannot make resolutions for others. We can make them for ourselves. A little improvement in personal growth is surely better than none at all.

          There is also the problem of our pride. To conclude that our lifestyle needs no improvement is surely foolish pride. I would rather admit that I failed to keep my resolutions than suggest that I had no weaknesses that needed my serious attention.

          With that in mind, I will share my list of resolutions for the New Year:

          1) I resolve to walk more. I sit too much. I need the benefit that more walking will provide. My doctor told me recently that walking is my best medicine. I know he is right, and I intend to walk more, and not occasionally but daily. 

          2) I resolve to stay in touch with my friends more than I have in the past. At my age I am attending more and more funerals of my friends. I need at least to let them know, with telephone calls, letters, and visits, that I value their friendship. Life is too short to neglect the people who mean the most to us, and that of course, includes our own family members.

          3) I resolve to pay more attention to my grandchildren and great grandchildren. There are 17 of them and each one is a unique, unrepeatable miracle of God. I need to get to know each one better, and to be more intentional about being a balcony person in their lives. I need to let them know that I am one of their cheer leaders, an encourager, and a source of support when needed.

          4) I resolve to stay in touch more with our sons and their wives. Each has his or her own struggles and successes. I need to do a better job of letting each one know how deeply I care about what is going on in their lives.

          5) I resolve to speak out more forcefully against those who want to re-write our history as a nation and suppress all references to God and Christianity in public life. The time has come for Christians to stand up and be counted in the cultural war against our Christian heritage and our right to celebrate publicly the values that are precious to us. As long as I have breath, I will not be silent in this national struggle. Those who choose to change “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Holidays” have that right. They do not, however, have the right to make that choice for the majority of the American people who prefer, I believe, to celebrate Christmas as an expression of our faith in Jesus Christ. They simply must be challenged.

          6) I resolve to enjoy life with more passion. Over the past two years I struggled a lot with depression. Thankfully, it did not get the best of me. My enthusiasm for life emerged with new strength, but I still remember the debilitating effects of depression. I need to be more sensitive to others who battle depression on a daily basis, and to offer what encouragement I can. Victory does not come without a fight, but we can fight, and humor is one of our best weapons against depression. Laughter can win many a battle within the soul.

          7) I resolve to care more about the things my wife cares about. I tend to be too selfish. I keep control of the remote for the TV too much. To prove my good intentions, I promise not to watch any more college football games after January 3, until next fall. I promise to let my wife have the remote most of the time (except on Sunday afternoons).

          8) I resolve to have more fun. As I get older, I tend to be grouchier that ever. I do not want to become a grouchy old man, and having more fun will help me avoid being grumpy.

          These are my resolutions as the new year begins. I hope some of mine overlap your own.

          Happy New Year! + + + +